Kitchen Stools Makeover

3 Materials
3 Weeks
Earlier this year I started on a project to upcycle some old kitchen stools. They had been sitting in our kitchen for 20 years and were looking tired and grease stained. I was moving into a new place and I could use them at the breakfast bar but they needed a makeover.
The first step was to remove the old varnish. I used a palm held sander with 80 grit sandpaper. Once the old varnish had been cleaned off, I started smoothing the piece with finer gritsandpaper. I went down to 180 grit and then 220 grit.
As I wanted to make the piece a bit more decorative I decided to apply a design to the seat. I covered the seat with masking tape and drew a leaf and branch design on the surface with a felt tip pen.
Next I used a craft knife to cut around the edges of the design and removed the surrounding masking tape.
Then I started staining the piece. I used a combined stain and varnish for this.
When I was happy with the colour, I let it dry before removing the masking tape.
I painted in the veins using a small round paint brush and then sealed the top with a 2 coats of clear varnish.
Now the new stools take centre stage at the breakfast bar in the new apartment.
Visit my blog post for more information.

Suggested materials:

  • Dulux Timbertone varnish in Mahogany and Rosewood   (Paint shop)
  • Electric Sander
  • Sandpaper   (Hardware store)

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 11 questions
  • Becky Becky on Jan 26, 2019

    im confused to how you made the design of the fern. Did you use a pattern? If so how would I go about getting one? Thanks for your time.

  • Tish Tish on Nov 13, 2019

    Title said “duct tape” yet the article said “masking tape”... there is a HUGE difference, especially in the amount of adhesive that is used on the tape. Masking makes much more sense... so I’m guessing the title is a typo???

  • Lori Ward-Laatsch Lori Ward-Laatsch on Jan 11, 2020
    So cute! For those of us who aren't very talented artists I think using a stencil to draw the design would work I could see it on drawers or other furniture to spruce it up.

    Another idea is use those wall stickers can get some at dollar stores. Paint over and remove the stickers. ?? Or would they bleed under that type of sticker?

    I did 3 walls of star wall stickers and everyone loves it. Thinking might be cool to do a piece that mimics the walls maybe in reverse color.


Join the conversation

2 of 92 comments
  • Debb Elmes Debb Elmes on Feb 01, 2021

    The stools look absolutely beautiful. I gather there was a problem with whether it was duct tape masking tape. As I was looking at the picture I noticed that it was a packing tape because it's shiny and it's wider than masking tape usually comes in. Masking tape is dull and more of a paper type of tape. The packing tape that you used obviously works just as well as masking tape. The outcome was amazing I'm very impressed. Thanks for sharing

  • Lori Lori on Mar 13, 2021

    They don’t you remove the progress bar once the video starts or move it out of the way of the video